Personal Loans

Find the Best Personal Loan for Financing a Deck & Backyard Projects

Upgrade your outdoor living space with a personal loan. Learn how to finance deck and backyard projects stress-free. Explore best financing options and more.
A man and his son visit the home improvement store to purchase items paid for with a home improvement personal loan
Written by:
Kevin Payne
Edited by:
Kristin Marino verified

Home improvement projects can enhance your property and increase your home’s value. Adding a patio deck or upgrading your yard could be the perfect way to create a backyard paradise for relaxing or entertaining.

Home improvement projects aren’t cheap, and costs can add up quickly, depending on your plans.

The best way to finance a deck or backyard project depends on your needs and lender requirements.

With good credit, you may qualify for a personal loan to fund your home improvement project, but other options exist.

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How Much Does It Cost to Install a Deck or Patio?

Installing a deck or patio is no small project. It can also be an expensive endeavor depending on the scope of your project.

Whether it’s a DIY project or you’ve hired someone for the build, there are several costs to consider before you start.

Below are some costs you may face when installing a deck or patio.

Design and Style

The style of deck or patio you choose will dictate costs, which can vary by several thousand dollars depending on how elaborate you choose to get with your design. A multi-level deck can increase costs significantly.

Square Footage

Building materials are generally sold by the square foot, so a larger project will increase build costs.

Decking Materials

Costs for deck materials vary drastically depending on the type of wood or material you decide on for your project. Choosing softwoods for your build could save you money, but they may not be as durable as composite or more exotic hardwoods or IPE.

Building Materials

Most projects require other building materials, like nails, screws, or tools, to complete.

Labor Costs

If you hire a company or individual to build your patio, you must factor in labor expenses to your total build cost.

Excavating and Prep Work

You may need to do some prep work before your property is ready for a deck or patio installation. Determine what needs to be done before you start building for a better understanding of the costs involved.

Add-on Features

Plan for additional features to enhance or protect your deck or patio, like electrical features, a patio cover, stairs, safety features, walkways, a gazebo or pergola, heaters, a hot tub, bar, or outdoor furniture. Landscape additions can enhance a newly built patio but also increase installation costs.

How to Pay for a Deck or Patio

Saving up cash is a savvy way to pay for a deck or patio without paying extra charges.

If dipping into your savings isn’t an option, several financing options exist that cover home improvement project costs upfront and allow you to pay them back over time.

Financing a deck or patio project gives you quick access to funds to purchase materials and tools for DIY projects or pay contractors.

Many contractors and construction companies require upfront payment of a portion of the build estimate to start the project. Financing your project gives you access to funds to get the project started.

Financing Options for a Deck or Patio

The best financing options depend on project costs, your credit score and history, and other lender requirements. You may qualify for lower interest rates with good-to-excellent credit.

Consider the following financing options if you’re installing a deck or patio soon.

Unsecured Personal Loans

An unsecured personal loan is a personal loan that doesn’t require collateral to obtain.

Unlike a mortgage or auto loan, which use your house or car as collateral, an unsecured personal loan is secured by meeting the lender’s credit and other underwriting standards.

Lenders perform a credit inquiry to determine your creditworthiness, looking at factors such as payment history, debt-to-income ratio, and overall financial situation.

How much you can borrow depends on the lender and whether you meet its qualifications.

Personal Loan Pros & Cons

Who does a personal loan for home improvement work best for?

Personal loans are best for individuals who need access to funds quickly, have a strong credit profile, and can afford monthly loan payments.

Home Equity Loan

A home equity loan is a loan secured by the equity built up in your home.

Often referred to as a second mortgage, a home equity loan provides a lump sum payment paid back over a fixed term.

The amount you can borrow with a home equity loan depends on your home’s current market value and the balance on your home’s mortgage.

Home Equity Loan Pros & Cons

Who does a home equity loan for home improvement work best for?

Home equity loans are best for individuals who use the funds for home improvements to increase their home’s value and can afford monthly loan payments.

Home Equity Line of Credit

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is another way to tap into your home’s equity.

Instead of receiving a lump sum upfront, a HELOC gives you access to a credit line to use as needed to cover financial needs, including home improvement projects. With a HELOC, you can pull funds from it at any time during the draw period and repay all or a portion of the borrowed amount every month.

Home Equity Line of Credit Pros & Cons

Who does a home equity line of credit work best for?

HELOCs are best for individuals that need funding at different stages of a home improvement project and have good enough credit to qualify for lower interest rates. It’s also a good option for those with equity built up in their home who want to use the funds to increase the value of their home.

Cash-Out Refinancing

Cash-out refinancing works like mortgage refinancing, except you generally refinance your original home mortgage loan into a new, larger loan amount, receiving the difference between the two as a lump sum payment.

You can use the proceeds from a cash-out refinance for whatever reason, including home improvements.

Cash-Out Refinancing Pros & Cons

Who does cash-out refinancing work best for?

Cash-our refinancing is best for individuals who want to tap into their home equity to fund home improvements or other financial needs while potentially qualifying for a lower interest rate.

Credit Card

Credit cards come with a revolving line of credit for purchases. Like a loan, credit cards charge interest, called APR, which is added to your balance if you don’t pay it monthly.

Credit Card Pros & Cons

Who does a credit card work best for?

Credit cards are best for individuals who want to fund home improvement projects and can afford to pay off the balance each month to avoid expensive interest charges.

Construction Company Financing

Construction companies often partner with banks and lenders to provide a direct financing option for customers who want to pay for home improvement projects over time. This type of financing comes as a fixed-rate installment loan, often with promotional 0% interest attached for a predetermined period.

Construction Company Financing Pros & Cons

Who does construction company financing work best for?

Construction company financing works best for individuals who want to finance a home improvement project with no interest payments for up to a year or longer.

Best Unsecured Loans for a Deck or Patio

Most personal loan lenders will let you use your loan for just about anything, including home improvements and renovations. Here are some of the best we found.

Best Egg

Best For: Getting Prequalified

Best Egg gives potential borrowers the opportunity to get prequalified. With prequalification, consumers can find out if they will qualify for a loan and some of the details of the loan they would qualify for including, interest rate, amount, and more.

This lender also has a lower credit threshold than some of the other personal loan home improvement lenders. The minimum credit score to qualify is around 600, so borrowers with fair credit may be able to get qualified. A lower credit score means a higher interest rate in most cases, however.

Learn more about Best Egg loans.


Best For: Joint Borrowers

SoFi offers several perks for its most qualified borrowers, including no fees, unemployment protection, financial advising, and a sophisticated app where you can manage your loan.

This loan works well for home improvement needs because loan amounts of up to $100,000 are available to qualified borrowers, and you can take up to seven years to pay it off. With a joint borrower, you may qualify for a larger loan amount or a lower interest rate, which makes it easier to complete your home upgrade with a loan from SoFi.

Learn more about SoFi loans.


Best For: Quick Funding

Prosper is known for its quick turnaround time from when you submit your loan application to when you get approved. Like SoFi, it also offers longer payoff times, but loans are much lower and cap out at $40,000.

The interest rate offered by this lender may be higher than some of the other lenders, but you can use a cosigner or joint borrower with a Prosper loan.

Learn more about Prosper loans.


Best For: Less-Than-Perfect Credit

Upgrade caters to consumers looking for a loan to improve their home or pay off high credit card bills. It comes with several perks, including joint borrowers, rate discounts, and longer payoff times for home improvement loans.

Upgrade does charge an origination fee that’s based on your loan amount. Borrowers don’t need excellent credit to qualify for an Upgrade loan.

Learn more about Upgrade loans.

How to Compare Your Options

Compare all available financing options to determine the best course of action to pay for your deck or patio installation.

Here are some factors to consider when comparing your options.


Compare interest rates to see how much borrowing money for your home project will cost. Some lenders allow you to prequalify for financing without affecting your credit. Prequalification allows you to see what interest rates you may qualify for if you apply for financing.


Determine how much time you need to pay off the amount you plan to borrow. Choosing a shorter term could mean higher monthly payments and vice versa.


Choose financing that offers a reasonable monthly payment you can comfortably afford.


Pay attention to any fees charged by the lender for financing, including origination fees, annual fees, prepayment penalties, and late fees.

Getting Qualified

The best financing options may be the ones you qualify for. Check with lenders on requirements and qualifications for borrowers before you apply for financing. Take advantage of prequalifying whenever possible to understand your chances of approval.

Tips for Financing Your Deck or Patio With an Unsecured Loan

Installing a deck or patio can be an expensive process. The tips below can help improve your chances of approval for financing to cover building expenses.

Know Your Credit Score

Check your credit report and score to look for any errors or omissions and better understand where your credit stands when applying for financing.

Have Emergency Savings

Having money set aside for emergencies can protect you if you face unexpected expenses to could cause you to miss loan payments.

Shop Around

Compare multiple lenders to find the best rates and terms to fit your needs.

Only Borrow What You Need

Determine how much you need to fund your project. Avoid borrowing more than you need so you don’t take on extra unneeded debt.

Check Eligibility Criteria

Check with the lender to see what requirements you must meet to qualify for lending products.

Improve Your Credit

Improving your credit score can increase your chances of approval. Build a history of on-time payments while paying down debt and keeping credit balances low to boost your score.

Look Out for Fees

Lenders often charge additional fees when you finance. Ask your lender about any fees attached to your loan or credit card.

Avoid Opening Other Accounts

If you plan to finance soon, avoid opening any other new credit accounts, which can cause changes to your credit score and possibly hurt your chances of approval.

Gather Documentation

Lenders typically ask for personal and financial information during the application process. Determine what you need to provide before you apply to speed up the process.

Bottom Line

If you plan to borrow money to fund home improvements, shop around to compare financing options, lenders, and rates. Prequalify to check potential rates and terms without affecting your credit. Choose the option that fits your needs best.